As I developed the cross-references visualization, it became increasingly clear that the data woven into the Bible was incredibly rich. Although the data Christoph shared with me was interesting, it told little about the people and places mentioned in the tome. In response, I set out to derive a new data set from the Bible, one that would capture relationships between people and places – essentially a biblical social network. The first thing I had to do was build a list of biblical names – Wikipedia already had a comprehensive one (2619 names!). Using this list, I parsed the text of the King James Bible. When two names occurred in the same verse, a connection between those two entities was created. To make this information visually meaningful, I ran the network of connections through my WikiViz engine, which caused highly connected groups of entities to coalesce. I through it would be fitting to render the visualization using an “old world” color scheme.
The images that result are essentially maps, but with the such dense data, they have a beauty in themselves. Check it out.